Scientists in the Division of Ocean and Climate Physics (OCP) delve into the mysteries of Earth's climate in order to document its change and to build an understanding of its controlling forces. Climate change is a crucial factor that has influenced human history over the ages. Therefore, reliable prediction is vital both to humankind's future and to the well-being of the planet. > more

The Exotic Seas of Southeast Asia

The ocean, unlike the globally enveloping atmosphere is segmented into seas, interconnected with passages of varied dimensions. Each ocean differs somewhat in its overall temperature and salinity, which owing to the great heat capacity of seawater and its central role in the hydrological cycle exert a strong influence climate. The Pacific is relatively cool and fresh, well stratified, while the Atlantic is warm and salty, prone to deep reaching overturning circulation in the northern North Atlantic, which among other consequences leads to a rather warm amiable climate of northern Europe.

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Northern hemisphere winter snow anomalies: ENSO, NAO and the winter of 2009/10

Writing in July 2010 when the eastern U.S. has been having one heat wave after another, it is easy to forget the winter just past, but winter 2009/10 was one of record snow in much of the mid-Atlantic region and very cold conditions across eastern North America. There was also widespread cold and snow in northwestern Europe.  At the time, as record snowfall hit Washington D.C., this was a big deal much exploited by climate deniers and others to ridicule global warming and climate science. Of course that confused climate and weather and took a rather regional perspective - failing, for example, to note the lack of snow in the Pacific Northwest or the warm temperatures in the subpolar and polar regions. Nonetheless it is always a good idea to try to explain anomalous seasonal weather both to search for any predictability and also to educate the wider public about causes and to offset attempts to exploit weather events to derail efforts to tackle climate change.

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Antarctic Sea Ice Forecast

Antarctic sea ice seasonal forecasts based on a linear Markov model are in high demand for both observational and climate communities. They are provided by Xiaojun Yuan and Dake Chen.

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